Berlin Boudoir empowering boudoir photo shoots
Photo: Monika Kozub | Berlin Boudoir

I decided to create a series of blog posts about simple pleasures we can enjoy during the coronavirus lockdown. The all need to be: A) cheap (or free), B) easy to make at home, C) give you a chance to unwind and relax.

Today my first episode about Home DIY Spa with recipes to try out!

1. FINDING PLACE AND TIME

As long as the world exists, there will be always the ones who prefer bath and the ones who prefer shower. Regardless of which group you belong to, it’s a wonderful way to calm down. It doesn’t matter if your bathroom looks like Cleopatra’s baths – make the most of what you have. The decision you make to dedicate this time yourself is the most important. Don’t be shy about it – tell your partner, roommates that you will need the bathroom for an hour (or as much as you want/can) and you don’t want to get disturbed during that time. If you want music – bring it on, but if you’re using your phone – please silence it for that time. No need for the outer world to notify you of its existence.

2. TURN IT INTO A RITUAL

Think of what brings you pleasure and try to achieve it with what you already have in your bathroom/house. Think of the order in which you will use them and prepare them at hand – if you go to SPA, you never get a random treatment in the middle of something else. Good preparation will help you enjoy every moment, without stressful running out of the shower, because you forgot the towel from your bedroom. It will also help you make the most of the time you have for yourself – you can shave your legs while having a mask on your hair, or paint your nails when you have a face mask etc. For once women use your wonderful multitasking skills for the sake of no one else but yourselves.

2. MAKE COSMETICS

If you want, plan it ahead of time, then you can even make your home made cosmetics. We’re so used to getting everything at drugstores, when a lot of wonderful beauty ingredients we have at home. And whereas creating your own facial cream is a next level (making sure it’s not going to irritate you, adding preservatives etc), the cosmetics your rinse off are much easier to make and basically error-free.

Here are my favorites (names by me ;-):

MERMAID HAIR MASK

Zakrecovnia DIY PEH hair mask
Photo: Zakrecovnia

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 table spoon spirulina
  • 1 table spoon of your conditioner (for the right texture and easy application)
  • 1 table spoon oil of your choice (I use sunflower oil most of the time)

HOW TO: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and put it on dry hair (if you put it on wet hair it will start dripping pretty quickly – trust me, I made this mistake at first). Leave it for 40-60 minutes – it’s pretty dense, no need to worry about dripping when the hair was dry. Spirulina gives it dark green color, but is safe for both your skin, hair and clothes – I tested it on me.

WHY IT WORKS: You may never have thought about it, but there are different ways in which you can hydrate your skin/hair. Three major categories of the substances are: proteins, emollients and humectants, in short PEH. Only when they are in right balance, your hair will look healthy and you will not have problems with their structure, curliness or shape.

Proteins are amino acids and biomolecules responsible for composing hair structure – your hair is made in 95% of keratin, a type of protein. The amount of proteins you should take in depends on your hair porosity (easiest way to test it is a float test: take a couple of strands of hair from your comb or brush and drop them into a bowl of water. Let them sit for 2-4 minutes. If your hair floats, you have low porosity. If it sinks, you have high porosity). High porosity hair tolerate larger amounts of protein much better than the low porosity ones, in which it can cause loss of volume. Types of proteins found in  beauty products: silk, collagen, keratin, elastin, wheat/maze proteins.

Emollients prevent water loss from inner hair structures and damage – basically think of them as a form of a raincoat for your hair or skin. Any form of oil is an emollient, but also shea butter, silicones or paraffin wax (the latter two not recommended for curly hair).

If you lack moisture in your hair/skin, emollient is not going to make it better – covering it with a waterproof coating will not make it moist. That’s why you need humectants – hydroscopic substances that attract water molecules and store it in your hair. But it all depends on the weather and humidity – if you’re in a humid environment, you will probably don’t need any humectants at all. Popular humectants are: urea, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, d-panthenol, aloe.

So as you can see now, this mask has all the 3 PEH ingredients:

Proteins: spirulina

Emollients: egg yolk, oil

Humectants: honey

I use the mask around once a month, when I feel that my hair is just not at its best and don’t really know which one of the 3 I am missing.

I discovered this mask on a Polish blog about curly hair zakrecovnia.pl

THE GLOW-GETTER SUGAR SCRUB

Photo: The Simple Veganista

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of brown or cane sugar
  • 3-5 table spoons of olive oil
  • 1 spoon of lemon juice

HOW TO: Put sugar into a small container (it will last for around a month so your can use an old cosmetic container or a jar if you would like to keep it). Slowly add olive oil, until the texture gets sandy. The sugar shouldn’t bee swimming in olive oil, as it will dissolve within a few days and not do its job. If you added to much olive oil – add a bit more sugar, and vice versa.

Best used after the shower or bath – water loosens the skin and makes it easier to get rid of the dead skin cells.

WHY IT WORKS: Olive oil is know as a “humectant”, which means it draws moisture into our skin. Sugar contains glycolic acid, which helps dissolve dead skin cells. Lemon adds the aroma and has plenty alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which help exfoliation (but the amount is small enough to not make it dangerous in any way).

I found this recipe on The Simple Veganista blog and simplified it

COCOLOCO LEAVE-IN HAIR CONDITIONER

Mommypotamus Leave-In DIY Conditioner
Photo: Mommypotamus

This was my first experience with home made cosmetics – I was in Lisbon, without my usual go-to hair cosmetics and decided to experiment a bit. I found this extremely simple recipe on Mommypotamus blog and loved the results.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup distilled water (or tap water that has been boiled for 5 minutes and allowed to cool)
  • 1 table spoon coconut milk
  • 2 – 10 drops essential oil (optional)

HOW TO: Start by adding the essential oil to coconut milk, if you’re using them. Then dilute the coconut milk with water, pour it into a spray bottle (I usually use an old spray bottle left from some other cosmetics but you can also buy a new one at a drugstore in the travel section). That’s it! So simple! Since it doesn’t have any preservatives, it’s better to prepare a small batch and use within a week and keep refrigerated. When using, you just spray damp hair with the conditioner after washing it and air or blow dry – as you please.

Enjoy your HOME SPA!